Gregory Rodrigues opened his third eye against Chidi Njokuani at UFC Vegas 60 this past Saturday.
Njokuani connected with a knee in the first round that busted open the Brazilian, causing him to bleed profusely from the cut between his eyes. The wound was bad, and ‘Robocop’ knew his time in the Octagon could be limited if there was an intervention from the referee or doctor. Fortunately, Rodrigues was allowed to continue and delivered a ‘Comeback of the Year’ contender after getting Njokuani down and finishing him with ground-and-pound for the second-round TKO.
Though he got the win, Rodrigues admitted he was in some serious trouble after that knee. Fortunately he for him, he weathered the storm after hearing his corner shout instructions to calm him down.
“I was dizzy, it was very hard,” said Rodrigues (video provided by MMA Junkie). “I fell, I was a little like, ‘Man, what happened?’ And then the blood started to come down and I was kind of blind, trying to figure out what I’m going to do. But, like I said, I want to say thank you to my corner, my trainers. They did an amazing job.
They started talking with me, and I was like, ‘No, no, no. Let me calm down.’ And I started hearing, ‘Move the legs!’ And stuff like that. And then I tried and then I [went] back, then I thought, ‘Man, I need to start something. I need to start throwing my bombs, throw my hands to stop him a little bit.’ Because after that cut, everybody is going to be confident, try to finish the fight. And then I started to throw my hands to show him I was there. I’m still there and that’s what happened.”
The Brazilian also recounted when he felt Njokuani fading. Once ‘Chidi Bang Bang’ slowed down and began breathing heavily in the second round, Rodrigues poured on the pressure and, as they say, the rest was history.
“When I finished the first round and came back to my corner, I was worried about the cut,” Rodrigues admitted. “My corner started [saying], ‘Let’s move, let’s start touching him. He already felt your hands.’ And when we started the second round, he was going the same, trying to pressure me, but I said, ‘Man, I need to pressure him more’.
And in one part of the fight, I felt he was tired. I felt his breath and it was different, and I said, ‘Oh man. I’m the ‘Robocop’ and I’m here, so now I’m going to kill you.’ And then I started to feel him, so when I grabbed him against the cage with the clinch—the takedown I did—I felt his body was a little bit weak and then I took him down and said, ‘Now, I’m going to finish the fight’. And then I did.”
Rodrigues and Njokuani were awarded ‘Fight of the Night’ honors and an extra $50k, which the 30-year-old says was worth being sliced open. His wife, on the other hand, feels differently.
“I [have] three eyebrows,” joked Rodrigues. “But I’m OK. I’m happy. Better now because of the win. My wife is just a little mad, ‘Tell the doctor to do a great job. I will come back there.’ But he did a great job, man, so I will look OK.”
With the win over Njokuani, Rodrigues is now 4-1 in the UFC.